The Redskins had a solid team as a whole in 2016, but as a franchise was once again dysfunctional. They finished the year with an 8-7-1 record, losing their last game to miss the playoffs. Washington’s offense was ultra-impressive, finishing third overall in total yards and second in passing yards. Well, the Redskins defense was just the opposite, allowing 377.9 total yards per game, which was fifth-worst in the league. With Kirk Cousins future up in the air right now and always questionable management, I don’t expect an improved record for Washington in 2017.
Key Additions and Losses
Quarterback Fantasy Outlook
Going into the 2016 season Kirk Cousins was at the top of my list of favorite fantasy options at quarterback and he didn’t really disappoint. He finished last season completing 67% of his passing attempts for 4,917 yards, 25 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. Yes, he lost a few of his familiar receiving options but Washington grabbed a couple of viable guys to take their places. Since the start of the 2015 season, Cousins has been a fantastic fantasy football option, hurling for 9,083 yards and 54 touchdowns for his owners. I’m seeing a lot of analysts putting Cousins in the QB1 territory for this season and rightly so with his past stats. My theory on drafting him is not doing it too early. If you can get Cousins in the middle rounds, fire away!
Running Back Fantasy Outlook
There are a ton of subpar running back options to choose from in this Washington backfield and none of them are any more intriguing than the next. I foresee a guy like Matt Jones potentially not even making the cut this year, so we won’t even discuss him. I personally think the lead back will end up being Robert Kelley who wasn’t half bad for the Redskins last season. Last year, Kelley ran the ball 168 times for 704 yards and six scores. Rookie running back Samaje Perine could get a real run at things once he gets his licks in this year as well. In my opinion, he’s the most intriguing guys, especially from a dynasty perspective. In three season at Oklahoma University, Perine rushed the ball 685 times for 4,122 yards and 49 touchdowns. Chris Thompson is another option to keep your eye on in 2017, as the passing down backs. In deeper PPR leagues, Thompson could really be a game changer.
Wide Receiver Fantasy Outlook
The duo of Terrelle Pryor and Jamison Crowder could be the best coming out of the NFC East this season! They are both explosive, fast wide receivers who can really do some major damage in the open field. Pryor signed with the Redskins over the summer after a solid career with the Cleveland Browns. In 2016, Pryor was targeted 140 times, catching 77 passes for 1007 yards and four scores. Now, he has a legit gunslinger for a quarterback in Cousins, so this could be a career year for Terrelle. I see similar yardage totals for Pryor with much more opportunities for touchdowns. Crowder has been an enticing PPR option over the last few seasons out of the slot for Washington. Last year, he was targeted 99 times, catching 67 balls for 847 yards and seven touchdowns. One person that could hurt both Pryor and Crowder’s fantasy value in the young Josh Doctson. Doctson pretty much missed his entire rookie season, so he has something to prove in 2017. He’s a big-bodied receiver that could very well become Cousins’ favorite target by Week 1.
Tight End Fantasy Outlook
The Redskins are one of the few teams in the league who has a legit tight end option! If Jordan Reed could just stay away from injuries, he could legit become the best tight end in all of football. Last season, he was targeted 89 times for 66 receptions, 689 yards and six scored for Washington. Reed has hauled in a fantastic 17 touchdowns over the last two seasons for the Redskins and will be looking to stay away from the concussions in 2017. Washington also resigned veteran pass catcher Vernon Davis this offseason, so he’ll potentially be an option when Reed does get hurt.
Defensive Fantasy Outlook
Like I briefly stated earlier, this Washington defense was atrocious in 2016! They were by far one of the worst units in the league but did well in their draft this offseason, grabbing both Jonathan Allen and Ryan Anderson in the first two rounds. With the addition of the two young defensive backs, the Redskins gained a much-needed improvement with their pass rushers. Both Josh Norman and Ryan Kerrigan will be back for Washington, so that’s a plus too. I’m not expecting even a Top-15 fantasy defense out of this Washington group, so they won’t be more than a bye week filler in my opinion.